Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our families.
I am writing to you as we are grappling with the latest DfE news story that schools will become testing centres for their staff and children and that we need to plan a staggered return to school in the new year!
This is a lot to comprehend and plan for in a few hours before we break up for a much deserved rest this Christmas. At the time of writing this message, we are still unclear about the details for January but wanted to share with you our current thinking, however, please check our website throughout the Christmas season, particularly from 1st January 2021.
Start of term
As you will be aware, we have a pre-planned staff INSET day on Monday 4th January 2021. This time has already been allocated to staff development and the recent government guidance says schools can use an additional INSET day to plan for the new testing regime. We will put a message on our website on 1st January 2021 if we are having an additional INSET day on Tuesday 5th January 2021.
Currently all students are expected to return to school for face to face lessons from Tuesday 5th January 2021. However, the latest government guidance is that schools should plan for a staggered return with only Year 11 students, plus students who are vulnerable, or children of critical workers in school, until Friday 8th January 2021. All other students are to stay at home to receive full time remote learning and return to school for face to face lessons on Monday 11th January 2021.
Again, we will clarify this with parents on 1st January 2021.
Vulnerable and key worker provision
We have already identified our vulnerable students and are asking for parents who are critical workers to complete the below form no later than Tuesday 29th December 2020.
Any students who are working remotely and are eligible for free school meals will be provided with a voucher for the first week of term. If you have any queries regarding FSM vouchers or your child’s access to a digital device for remote learning, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We are currently awaiting clarity on the government’s expectations of schools to conduct rapid COVID testing for staff and students. As previously mentioned, we will update our website in the new year with any details we have received. Please continue to inform the school of the outcomes of any COVID tests using our dedicated website email@example.com.
Finally, whilst this won’t be my last communication of 2020, I would like to pass on my thanks and festive wishes to all our parent community who have been immensely supportive during a uniquely tough term.